Girls' volleyball beats Brookline, advances to state semifinals

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The Newtonite

by Adam Rabinowitz
Throughout the regular season girls’ volleyball, 19-3, faced Brookline twice, winning a match and losing a match. Saturday, the two teams faced each other once more at Marlborough High School, but this time with more than just a win on the line: loser goes home, winner advances.
The Tigers came out victorious, beating Brookline 3-0, advancing to the State Semifinals.
The Tigers started the game off very strong, according to senior Tess Simmons, a captain with the rest of the team’s seniors.
“We crushed them in the first two sets and it was a close third set,” she said.
According to senior Bali Connors, the Tigers used their early momentum to play hard throughout the whole match.
“We’ve become a team that can totally take the momentum from the beginning of the game and continue to play strong. We knew we had to key in against their main hitter and we practiced almost every day preparing for how to neutralize her,” she said.
According to Simmons, shutting down Veronica Kovalcik, a senior for Brookline, was key, and the hard work from practice paid off.
“It was great all around. We played consistently strong and shut Kovalcik down,” she said.
Senior Madeleine Lundberg said that sticking to the team’s plan and keeping staying positive was key to their success.
“Even if we faltered a bit we were always able to recover and side out which is something we have struggled with in the past. We played really well as a team and I think it was one of our strongest games yet,” she said.
Senior Sammy Marcus said that the team prepared for this match at practice, and it paid off.
The Tigers play Barnstable in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bridgewater High School in a rematch of the past two state championships.
Lundberg said that this game will be very tough, but she believes the Tigers can pull through.
“I think this game is going to be purely mental. We know we can beat them, it’s just about making sure we play like we normally do the entire game and not let them get in our heads,” she said.
Simmons added that Barnstable is mainly a middle hitting team, so the team will work hard to counter that.
“We will have to work on blocking and defending middle hits. They are also good at playing the ball off our blocks so we will have to score points in other ways,” she said.
Marcus also added that the Tigers need to focus on playing the way they have been playing all year, and that working hard in practice is important.
“For Wednesday we plan on continuing to play our normal game. Our practices this week will be tough but we will be fully prepared for our next game,” she said.